Clean Energy CV Upgrade Provides EE & Solar Loans in Coachella Valley

New energy loans coming to Indio, Desert Hot Springs

The Desert Sun, November 2, 2014

After a slow rollout for the Coachella Valley Association of Governments’ energy-efficiency loan program, Indio and Desert Hot Springs have invited a competing program to make a play for valley homeowners.

The Coachella Valley’s property-assessed clean energy program — known as Clean Energy CV Upgrade — provides loans for energy-efficiency upgrades and solar installations, with homeowners and businesses paying back those loans through their property taxes. It’s been a year and a half since the Santa Rosa-based Ygrene Energy Fund won the contract to run the initiative, beating out the San Diego-based Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) program.

But as of Sept. 30, Ygrene had funded just 60 projects in the Coachella Valley, 15 of which were still under construction. Palm Springs and Palm Desert have seen the most activity, Ygrene officials said, with especially few projects funded in Indio and Desert Hot Springs.

That slow start could provide an opening for the HERO program, which has been lobbying desert officials over the last few months. While the Coachella Valley Association of Governments remains committed to Ygrene, Indio and Desert Hot Springs are in the final stages of approving HERO, which will be available as an additional option in those cities by early 2015.

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